Agulhas National Park

On the edge of the world

Open access park
 
+27(0)28 435 6078
Cape Peninsula
www.sanparks.org
agulhasinfo@sanparks.org
SANParks
South African National Parks

On the edge of the world

Cape Agulhas: of storms, long summers and tangible history

We’re driving south; as far south as you can go on the African continent. Wild flowers lead us like yellow breadcrumbs to the gates of the Agulhas National Park.

I feel like we’re on the edge of the world; the jagged coast reminds me of an old map, the kind where world just ends at the horizon, and there are sea monsters waiting below for falling ships. As if to prove this point, we drive past a shipwreck rusting into the sea.

We’re spending the night at the Agulhas Rest Camp, don’t be thrown by the name; it’s practically four-star accommodation. The wooden A-frame chalets have thatch roofs, and inside is immaculate. Our home for the night has two bedrooms, each with en suite bathrooms (tiled and beautiful), and the white beds are big and soft, there’s even a flatscreen TV with DSTV.

But, my eyes are on the view: The boiling blue sea stretches so far it fades into the sky. The chalets have been designed to look natural, so they really are at ease with the surroundings. We’re flanked on all sides with herbaceous fynbos, and we can hear birds within the dense foliage.

Settled, and hungry, we head to the Cape Agulhas Lighthouse for lunch. Dating back to 1848, it was the second one to be built in South Africa. Today it’s a national monument, and inside you’ll find a lighthouse museum as well as a restaurant. And, for a small fee you can climb right up the lighthouse.

But first, we eat. The small restaurant has rustic charm; wooden tables are soft-to-touch from salty air, and bric-a-brac is everywhere: like someone’s home. (From here you can also buy Cape Agulhas Honey Bush Tea.)

Next we explore: we go see where the Atlantic and Indian Oceans meet; we examine immaculate shells on a beach that looks like a movie set (so perfect); we drive; we play. The chalet is self-catering so before it gets too late we head to the shops in L’Agulhas to buy supper.

The next morning, waking up to the white noise of the sea, we spy shiny flanks of whales in the ocean. The weather for our trip has been sunny, but I’m keen to come back in winter to also experience a true Cape storm.

Things to do

  • Drink wine along the Elim wine route: the southernmost wine-growing area of South Africa. They make stellar maritime sauvignon blancs
  • Grab your binoculars and head to the wetlands to see diverse and rare birdlife such as the African Black Oystercatcher.
  • Look out for Southern Right whales in spring and early summer.
  • Diving and scuba diving. Pop in at the tourism office by the lighthouse for more information on these activities.
  • Fishing, there’s plenty of angling to be done off the rocks.
  • Relax and braai
  • Hike, there are some fantastic scenic routes: go in spring for a wild flower show like no other.
  • Run, the Foot of Africa Marathon is held here every year in October.

Where to stay

Agulhas Rest Camp – Chalets (by the sea)
We stayed here, and didn’t want to leave. This camp is located just over 10 kilometres from the lighthouse. There are four, two-bed; and four, four-bed self-catering chalets to choose from: so you can bring the extended family too.
Wow factor: the views and the nature

Agulhas Rest Camp - Lagoon House (by the sea)
One word, wow. This location is sublime; flanked by a blue lagoon on the side and a pristine beach on the other. The historic Cape Dutch house has an appropriate white facade, inside there are four bedrooms; of which two have separate external entrances and en-suite bathrooms. There is also a kitchen and living area in the house.
Wow factor: the blue lagoon will enchant you.

Rhenosterkop Guest Cottages (inland)
Want to stay on one of the oldest farms in the Strandveld? Established in 1742, the name originates from the skull of a Black Rhino which was found in the area. The farmstead has four cottages, some dating back to the 18th century. 
Wow factor: The tangible history and the nearby Elim wine route.

Bergplaas Guest House (inland)
Close to Struisbaai, so bring those surfboardsand your surf buddies. The guest house has five bedrooms and four of those have en suite bathrooms. Great for family gatherings, or get-togethers with friends.
Wow factor: The size of this old farm house and the view of the plains from the veranda.

Tip: For holiday reading get yourself a copy of Driftwood by South African author Dalene Matthee. This moving tale is set in the Strandveld, and mentions actual beaches and homesteads of the national park.

By Malu Lambert

Check out our Facebook album of the park and follow us on Twitter to keep up-to-date with what's happening in our pretty city. Plus, subscribe to our weekly newsletter for a seven day weather forecast.

Cape Town Events Calendar
April 2021
SUN MON TUE WED THU FRI SAT
1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30

Wolfkop Camping Villages and Nature ReserveWolfkop holiday specials: glamp for up ...

Plus 9 activities also at half-price: bodyboard the Olifants, hike, see rock paintings ...

Whale Rock LodgeWhales, wine and a special reader’s ...

Get 10% off your Hermanus holiday plus a complimentary bottle of wine

Gallery 19 high streetFirst Fridays, the social event in ...

Talk to gallerists, art lovers and drink wine from this famous region

Nelson Makamo See world-famous SA artist Nelson ...

Opening night (with Makamo) fully booked. Walk-about in planning

Chard Grill Weekly burger specials plus 2 happy ...

R99 for two burgers and R30 for all wine, beer and gin

Hermanus Guest HouseBook a luxe Hermanus stay on this ...

Colourful, central + opposite a gorgeous (safe) tidal pool

Burgundy RestaurantYour guide to eating at Burgundy ...

Beer-battered hake + chips, seafood pasta and a local delicacy

CoupleWhat to watch at The Galileo open-air ...

Classic movies on Wednesdays to Sundays. Plus picnic screening at Kirstenbosch

Light ArtSpier Light Art Exhibition: it’s ...

Pre-book your space on Dineplan, and consider staying over

Windsor HotelIncredible room specials at Windsor ...

Now and during whale season. Plus one kid under 12 stays free

WSDC BoatSpectacular rates on shark cage diving ...

For R700 less. Plus ask for current readers’ specials

Ficks cocktail 2Ficks: the best sundowner pinchos bar ...

Pair wine, cocktails and mocktails with pinchos and a spectacular sea view

Riebeek Kasteel EventGallery Riebeek Kasteel shows off the ...

This country village also offers good food, excellent wine + lots of history

Rupert Museum Add Rupert Museum to your Stellenbosch ...

Legendary Sam Nhlengethwa has an exhibition and playing personal vinyl collection

Glen carlouFine art, excellent wine, delicious ...

Take the day and visit this top wine farm to view local art and eat exceptional food

T-Roc PartnerPre-order the T-Roc from Barons Cape ...

The T-Roc is here. Test drive now and pre-order to spec!

GiveawaysTravel Tips